In an interview in today’s Australian, Mr Turnbull said the Government had “not decided to change the policy”.
This is in spite of Mr Turnbull’s comments, in the same interview, that “what we have to do this term is categorically reassure Australians about our commitment to universal health and Medicare”.
Mr Turnbull’s comments echo his claim, made immediately after the election, that he would learn the lessons of the election and address Australians’ concerns about his deep cuts to health.
But two months later, nothing has changed. As Mr Turnbull has confirmed today, the Government remains committed to:
· Driving bulk billing down and co-payments up via the freeze on Medicare rebates, a GP Tax by stealth;
· Cutting Medicare bulk billing incentives for vital tests and scans;
· Increasing the price of prescription medicines by up to $5, even for concession card holders; and
· Cutting hundreds of millions from Medicare via changes to the Medicare Safety Net.
Softer rhetoric won’t change the harsh reality of these cuts. Mr Turnbull’s “reassurance” is worth as much as Tony Abbott’s promise of “no cuts to health” – nothing.
In contrast, during the election campaign Labor committed to ending Mr Turnbull’s Medicare freeze, scrapping his cuts to vital tests and scans, reversing his price hikes to Medicines, and protecting the Medicare Safety Nets.
On health, look at what Mr Turnbull does, not what he says.
SATURDAY, 27 AUGUST 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: ANDREW GARRETT 0412 300 994